Many have asked, “How did you come up with that?” Or “where did you get that?” Many are surprised to find out how little I spend or that I made most of my therapy materials I frequently use in my classroom.
Must haves: my laminator! I could not live without this! I purchased mine back in graduate school from Staples but you could get many cheap ones from BJs, Amazon, Target and other discount stores. I usually buy my laminating pages from BJs since I could get 50 for $8! My school now has one but I prefer to use that one for larger projects such as posters and file folders. Other essentials I couldn’t live without include: my binding machine (got a cheap one on Amazon last summer), index cards, binder rings (can get a Staples), and TONS of Velcro!
Where do I go for cheap ideas and supplies? Dollar stores and the dollar section at Target. I also have gotten tons of Target gift cards as teacher gifts and I frequently just use those to pay for supplies! I also signed myself up for email and snail mail listings for coupons of local toy stores and teaching supply stores. I rarely pay full price for anything!
Where do I get my inspiration? Well, some is from Pinterest but I also take the goals I have in mind and think, how could I motivate my students and teach them a skill that they cannot get the traditional way?! When I first started out over 5 years ago, I spent tons of money I didn’t have purchasing commercial products. But that doesn’t always help target those skills that are difficult for speech and language students. I also love to come up with my own articulation target words and vocabulary lists.
I create most of my materials using Boardmaker, Custom Boards app, or Google images. Since I have started my blogging adventures, I now am purchasing fun graphics and clipart that will also motivate my students. By using graphics and clipart, one can modify materials to their likes and needs in a fun and cheap way. Laminate and bind them for safe keeping for many years! What types of materials do I typically create? I like to make visual aids to assist in recalling strategies learned, matching cards to play memory or go fish, and fun game boards. I can target any skill or concept using these types of materials. My students love competition and anyway to motivate them, I will!
There are also TONS of products shared and to purchase for cheap that have been made by fellow SLPs or other teachers. By searching through Pinterest, following bloggers, and searching through Teachers Pay Teachers, you could find what you are looking for!